Major Monica Fournier, commanding officer of the Corporate Services Branch at 5th Canadian Division Support Base (CDSB) Gagetown, received a commendation on January 22, 2024, for her leadership within the Defence Team Pride Advisory Organization (DTPAO).

Colonel Marc Parent, commander of 5th Canadian Division Support Group, presented the award on behalf of 5th Canadian Division.

Through Major Fournier’s guidance, the DTPAO, one of several Defence Advisory Groups at 5 CDSB Gagetown, succeeded in increasing 2SLGBTQI+ visibility at the base through education initiatives, including the Positive Space Advisory Organization. 

Events such as the inaugural RAINBOW Run on May 17, 2023 (the International Day Against Homophobia) and the installation of a PRIDE crosswalk on 14 July, 2023 (opened by New Brunswick Lieutenant-Governor, the Honorable Brenda L. Murphy) have made major strides at 5 CDSB Gagetown in fostering a more inclusive environment.

Beyond the highly visible activities, the DTPAO has engaged with the local Cadet organization, hosted a panel discussion on Canadian Armed Forces “Purge” of 2SLGBTQI+ members between the 1950 and 1990s, and provided support to varying chains of command on policy interpretation to incorporate the use of inclusive language. 

The DTPAO has a grown in membership and continues to foster cultural change and support for the 2SLGBTQI+ community at 5 CDSB Gagetown. 

Major Fournier acknowledged that the success was a team effort and would not have been possible without the hard work of her fellow Defense Team members.